The UN, The US, The Internet

Visualization of the various routes through a ...Image via WikipediaThe UN is not it, the US is not it, the Internet is it.

I have made that statement a few times at this blog.What do I mean?

I do not imagine a future where the UN as an organization has been dissolved, and the US federal government no longer exists. But I do imagine a future where the Internet has fundamentally altered the very fabric of what the UN is, how it functions, how far it reaches, how well it functions. I imagine a US federal government transformed by the forces unleashed by the Internet.

The Internet is transformative technology. But it does not operate in a vacuum. You take away people and you end up with computers. It is adding people to the equation that gave us the Internet. And so human institutions are very relevant to what the Internet is all about.

The Internet offers fluidity. Traditional silos make way for newfound permutations and combinations. I moved to New York City in 2005 to launch a company, but instead got sucked into doing full time work for Nepal's democracy movement: the king had pulled a coup. My two primary tools were my Nepal blog and the Google Group that I had turned into the largest Nepali mailing list in the world.

I was Barack Obama's first full time volunteer in New York City, maybe the country. My Barackface blog was my primary tool there.

And it felt to me like my Nepal democracy work was a distraction from what I really wanted to do. Only now I face the fact that I am Cofounder and 50% owner to a tech startup that has 50 techies based in Kathmandu. My early experiments to do with my microfinance startup will likely be in Nepal.

All that work I poured into Nepal's democracy movement has become relevant to my tech entrepreneur aspirations. Tech, especially the Internet, does not operate away from people. This is one technology where people are at the very core.

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